Beltane Ritual

Beltane was a great time. We danced the may pole, shared delicious snacks, and had a wonderful ritual with Grove and friends.

During the ritual, we pulled two Oghams as usual and were met with the following: Blackthorn, which represents challenges, difficulty, and poison, followed by Yew, which represents access to ancestors, death, rebirth, and faith. Suffice to say, from great challenges come lessons, new life, and rebirth. We will embrace the challenges that are coming to us, knowing that the outcomes will be worth the efforts and struggle.

Good luck to you all with your Spring and Summer ventures and Blessed Beltane!

Beltane Activities

Beltane is just around the corner and I know you are all looking for family-friendly activities to celebrate. Beltane is a time to celebrate fertility and, while you may not want to beat your children over the head with this (so to speak), you do want them to understand it brings life and all the things they love about spring and summer.

Here are some fun group and family-friendly activities you can do to celebrate.

Crafts:

Make a floral crown or cone. Teach the children to be respectful of what they harvest and to do so mindfully. (Adults, you need to remember this too!) For your pretty flower crown or bouquet, something is dying. If you are not a fan of this, try potting a plant to bring inside, and decorate the pot.

Ribbon is also highly associated with Beltane because of the May Pole (which you can always dance by the way), so why not try braiding some ribbon crowns or hanging ribbons from trees to decorate your celebration.

Have a Bonfire:

The Bale Fire is a long-standing tradition used for protection and purification. It is also a fantastic gathering point for stories and celebrations. So why not grab the marshmallows and have yourself a little roast.

Go A-Maying:

Take a walk though the woods and enjoy some of the new life that is budding up around you. You can take pictures, clip trimmings, or draw what you see and maybe even enjoy a picnic in nature. It’s always good to get some fresh air and commune with nature.

Gardening:

This is a great way to introduce your children to the idea of fertility without having to explain the “birds and bees”, if you aren’t quite ready. The seeds breed life and life is all around us. Children can help by tilling and watering the soil. They will gain a sense of satisfaction and acquire new skills through helping with the planting.

 

Dance that May Pole:

Beltane is all about fertility and fun. What better way to wholesomely celebrate than dancing around a giant phallic object and decorating it? Try to weave your ribbons over-under-over-under to create a beautiful pattern down your may pole. You can also tie wishes for the next year to the pole before wrapping it. Focus on those hopes as you dance, and watch the magic come to life.

Bake a Green Man Cake:

We all love the Green Man and we all love cake! Lets combine the two and enjoy! (Keep scrolling for a recipe!)

I hope this has helped you in deciding what to do with your May Day celebrations. Enjoy!

Continue reading →

Spring Cleaning

Ritual is not only for the High Days. We have smaller life rituals that we perform each and every day: the ritual of brushing our teeth, the ritual of getting dressed, etc. With Ostara and Spring just around the corner, I thought it was time for some “Spring Cleaning” which, as with all things, is best done mindfully.

I love to clean, so there’s no issue for me there, but if you are not a fan of scrubbing things down and tidying up, maybe doing so mindfully will help you to achieve a greater sense of accomplishment and comfort.

The ritual of Spring Cleaning has existed since the dawn of time. In North America, it is typically done in response to the cold and wet climate we endure throughout winter. Traditionally, it would be a time to dust and air out the home, change the hay in bedding, and be rid of all things that accumulated in the home during the harsher months. Nowadays, it is mostly an excuse to give the house a good once-over and recycle things we no longer need.

So apart from the obvious aspects of cleaning, like removal of dust and debris, cleaning surfaces or carpets, and laundering things that may get forgotten, we should keep in mind a few things:

  • Firstly, you must perform each task with a strong sense of intent. Focus your energy on removing not only the physical mess but the emotional and spiritual mess as well. Visualize your home filling with a bright light as you cleanse it.
  • When performing a ritual, it is best not to use harsh chemicals, if they can be avoided. Try a natural brand or even making your own cleaning solution with vinegar, water and essential oils to give the house a fresh smell without the burning compounds. (Check out for DIY natural cleaning inspiration here, here, and here!)
  • Clean from top to bottom and from the back of the house out the front door.
  • Burn sage in order to cleanse and purify the air.
  • Open your most Easterly windows to allow the energy of the sun to pour in.

Good luck, folks!

 

(Check out our “Spring Cleaning” post from 2015, including a “House Cleaning Ritual” document, here)

Magic Potion for Sickness

 

It is that time of year. We are all getting sick or have been sick. What are your favourite remedies? For me, I have my “Sick Tea”.

Whenever I am feeling under the weather, I mix up this “tea” and sip it back like there is no tomorrow. My “tea” consists of freshly grated ginger, two or three slices of lemon, and a big dollop of honey all mixed together with some nice hot water. I prefer this to conventional medicine… and why not?

Ginger is packed with antioxidants that help boost your immune system. It can also help with nausea, heartburn, and indigestion. We’re off to a good start!

Lemon is high in vitamin C –great for you overall, but particularly if you are feeling sick. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Lemon also helps to break up mucus when you are sick and can help reduce the inflammation of a sore throat.

Honey has been used for years to sooth sore and scratchy throats. It has antibacterial properties and the natural peroxides in honey act as disinfectants, which may help reduce inflammation and thereby pain.

Mix the three together and you’ve got yourself a powerful “Sick Tea”.

Good luck, cold sufferers!! *sniff sniff

“Good Witch” – “ Bad Witch”

good-vs-bad

I recently came upon an article discussing the “crazies” in Pagan communities. Here, you should read it too:

http://badwitch.es/pagans-know-total-douchebags/

But I’ll give you some highlights…

 

A lot of pagans? Douchebags. Complete tools. So, so fucked up.

 

The thing with paganisim, witchcraft, wicca and all that jazz is that it is a religion of individuality, and the shadow side of that is that it can really easily turn into a religion of ego.

 

I couldn’t take it. I was done with the events where one douchebag would talk over the main speaker, just to prove how much he knew.

I was done hanging out with people who wanted to be witchy because they wanted to be edgy and cool.

I was done with the shallowness of it all, with the constant ego battles, with the drama and the showing off

 

 

Yes, yes, I know every community has them. But don’t you feel like ours attracts just a few more?

I have personally hit this wall more than once and proclaimed that, “I AM DONE” or, “THAT’S IT, I AM GOING SOLITARY.  But here’s the thing: each time I do, I somehow come back… With the support of the wonderful people I have met though my Grove, I continuously end up attending and even hosting “Meet & Greets”.

I can relate to Demi’s desire to draw back from what I call “holier than thou” pagans or the ones who believe the world is owed to them, but if I truly gave up I would never have met some of the wonderful people I now call my Grove.

So, keep trying. Pulling back can sometime give you much needed time to heal, but, when you are ready, be sure to reach out again and tag in someone new.

Communing With Nature

We all strive to do this a little more –to get out and experience nature; to take a walk and meditate on the growth and the decay; to appreciate it all. With the sunny weather we have been having lately, I set out to get my son started early. He is at an age where touching everything is terribly exciting, so we wandered around the yard to see what we could find.

I thought it could be fun, for just a moment, to consider and see the world though his eyes. Everything is new. Everything is exciting. Each and every leaf is a new texture. And every colour is brilliant and thrilling.

IMG_9146IMG_9147

Meditation is part of the Druid way, and it can be challenging, but there are many forms of mediation. For me, one of the best ways is to walk in nature and focus only on my breath and embracing the environment around me. It is a single focus that calms the mind and body, and I hope to pass it on to my little one.

FullSizeRender

I hope we can all take some time, with summer at its peek, to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us all.

Feature in The Wild Hunt

cropped-header-3

 

A little feather in the cap of all Nova Scotia Druid Members: We were mentioned in the latest publication of The Wild Hunt.

Have a look: http://wildhunt.org/2016/06/pagan-interfaith-on-cape-breton-island.html

Save

School is ALMOST out for summer….

family in the forest illustration by kiyary1 2

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means—NO SCHOOL!

 

This means all the kiddies are going to be in need of more attention and fun activities. Here are a few Druid inspired ideas you can do as a family or that you can help your younglings do.

 

  1. Meditate: Start small and just breathe. Meditation is important throughout our lives and instilling these skills and values early can help with a great many of life’s little challenges. Sit with your kid(s) and try it together. Perhaps make it part of a bedtime routine before stories to quiet the mind, body, and spirit.
  2. Build or Redecorate your alter: If they don’t already have a sacred space, let them explore and make one that feels good to them. If they already have one, why not encourage some seasonal decoration? They can dry flowers or leaves, paint rocks, or braid their own herbs and grasses.
  3. Singing and Chanting: Who doesn’t love to sing? You can sing with them and teach them lessons though song. You can sing together as you tidy. Check out the ADF Ritual Songs section for sheet music as well as videos and sound clips for new tunes. https://www.adf.org/rituals/chants/index.html
  4. Hiking and Nature Walks: This is one of my favourites. Communing with nature is a fantastic way to spend time with your family. Turn off the tablets and cell phones and head out to enjoy a park or walking path. You can make it even more fun by keeping nature clippings or a journal. Look for early signs of spring. What is the first flower to make its way through the thawing soil? What kinds of birds and other wildlife do you see? If your child is artistically inclined, invite them to draw the plants and animals they see on your walks.
  5. Crafts: There are so many! Drying your own herbs, making your own oils, making leaf and flower prints, making your own ogham/runes out of sticks, or painting rocks. Check your local craft supplier for beeswax sheets and have the children make their own ritual candles (to be used only with adult supervision). Check out https://tressabelle.wordpress.com/ for tons of other crafting ideas!
  6. Make a Family Tree: Respect for the elders and knowing your history and heritage is important. Why not have the kids draw out or find pictures of their family and arrange them into a family tree?
  7. Gardening: This can be helpful and a great learning experience. Arrange for the kids to either have specific tasks or maybe a small plot of their own. Gardening and horticulture skills are valuable and practical.

 

There are many things you can do as a family and showing an interest in your children’s projects will help them develop and build confidence and a diverse range of skills.

 

Good luck, Druid Mommas and Papas!

 

Illustration Credit: 

Save

Save

Save

Welcome to the Family

After years of wishing and waiting, we are pleased to welcome Ernie to his new home with Daniel and Chrissy Negus and to the Nova Scotia Druids.

Love makes a family.

Welcome, Ernie!

12672170_10154179474739015_2589791672483055197_o